La Rochelle, France -- The 5th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), 14-18 May 2012, La Rochelle, France, organised by AEWA Secretariat, will kick off shortly in La Rochelle in France. The five-day meeting carries the theme “Migratory waterbirds and people – sharing wetlands”. Wetlands International will contribute to this theme by three publication releases and two key events.
Three major technical publications to be considered by the meeting:
5th Edition of the Conservation status report
Wetlands International periodically collates a technical report summarizing the conservation status of all waterbird populations covered by the agreement and serves as the basis for adjusting the protection regimes for them by the Contracting Parties. A total of 533 biogeographic populations of 255 species were assessed. The report shows some improvements primarily in Europe, but highlights that still 40% more waterbird populations are declining than increasing. It also highlights major knowledge gaps primarily in West Asia.
Besides of providing population size and trend estimates, the report also assess the threats. This shows that the main threats to waterbird populations in the African-Eurasian flyway are climate change, biological resource use including not only hunting and other forms of exploitation of waterbirds, but also by-cathes, forestry and agriculture. These are followed by natural system modifications mainly related to water management. Download the report
The report is based on an analysis of the International Waterbird Census (IWC) and other sources.
Preliminary Report on the Site Network for Waterbirds in the Agreement Area - 1st Edition
This premier compilation of the status of internationally important sites supporting migratory waterbirds uses the information brought together in the Critical Site Network Tool together with updated information on the protection status of Critical Sites to assess what proportion of each waterbird population was covered by the Critical Site Network. The review reveals that only half of the Critical Sites are designated in any form of protected areas. Consequently, the Contracting Parties should make concerted efforts if they want to achieve the target of establishing a coherent and comprehensive network of protected and managed areas by 2017.
The production of the report has been made possible by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) as part of the Wings Over Wetlands Project and was co-funded by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) of Switzerland.
Bewick’s Swan Single Species Action Plan to stop rapid decline of populationof population
Wetlands International together with the DLG Service for Sustainable Land and Water Management of the Netherlands, the WIldfowl and Wetlands Trust, the WI/IUCN SSC Swan Specialist Group, the Leningrad State Regional Institute for Nature Conservation and the Leningrad State University present an International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) which migrates between Russia the Netherlands and the UK.Their population experienced a sudden decline of 50% since the mid 1990s and the plan outlines priority actions for conservation and management of the birds and their habitats across the flyway. The preparation of the Plan has been supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Download the action plan
This Action Plan is one of several being considered by the meeting and covered by AEWA Draft resolution 8 Adoption and Implementation of International Single Species Action Plans and Species Management Plans. Read more
Wetlands International will organize two key events at the Meeting:
African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership; 15 May, 13.15-14.15
The Conservation Status Report highlights the need to enhance waterbird monitoring work in the African-Eurasian region to ensure robust and up-to-date monitoring data on population sizes and trends. This event presents plans of the newly established African-Eurasian Waterbird Monitoring Partnership which is coordinated by Wetlands International (Download new Partnership brochure), as well as plans for capacity building in the Mediterranean and revitalising of goose counts in Europe.
The side event will provide additional information to support the draft resolution 22 Establishing a Long-Term Basic Structural Funding Regime for the International Waterbird Census in the African-Eurasian Region.
Wings over Wetlands Partnership; 16 May, 15.15-14.15
An important outcome of the Wings Over Wetlands project implemented between 2005 - 2010 has been the establishment of a new Partnership for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and their Habitats involving Wetlands International, BirdLife International, UNEP-WCMC, AEWA Secretariat and Ramsar Convention that will provide a flyway framework for continued cooperation. This will be considered by the meeting in AEWA Draft resolution 4 Implementation of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) UNEP-GEF African-Eurasian Flyways Project and Post-WOW Prospects
The event highlights the latest products of the partnership, including a new publication on the Critical Site Network Tool. The Critical Site Network Tool is a new online resource for the conservation of 294 species of waterbirds and the important sites upon which they depend in Africa and Western Eurasia. The CSN has at current 10,000 users with and beyond the African Eurasian Flyway. This event presents the review of the tool and its usage and the next steps in further development. The CSN can be viewed here
The newly produced French language version of the Flyway Training Kit (FTK) will be showcased. This new resource will provide a much needed resource for training and capacity building of wetland site managers, government officials and conservationists in Francophone Africa. Its production has been made possible through the generous support from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and the German Government. Download the kit.
The AEWA Meeting takes place against the backdrop of World Migratory Bird Day that takes place each year on the second weekend in May, when dedicated people and organizations plan events to celebrate migrating birds and to raise awareness about the need for their protection. To promote this year’s event, a special poster and trailer have been produced. The main partners of the global campaign include CMS, AEWA, BirdLife International, Wetlands International and the Secretariat of the Partnership for the East Asian - Australasian Flyway. We welcome active participation from around the world to mark this event. Read more